Baseball world mourns the passing of Hall of Fame reliever Bruce Sutter.
Bruce Sutter, one of the most dominant relief pitchers to ever play the game, has passed away today at 69 years old, per an announcement by the St. Louis Cardinals on Twitter.
Aside from his Hall of Fame numbers, Sutter is also best known as being one of the first pitchers to heavily rely on a split-fingered fastball in his repertoire. He also is one of two non-Jackie Robinson players in history (Mariano Rivera is the other) to have their No. 42 retired by their respective clubs.
MLB: Bruce Sutter passes away, baseball world mourns loss of Hall of Famer
In each season from 1977 through 1979, Sutter managed to pull off a feat that has rarely been seen over the course of MLB history, striking out over 100 batters in a season as a closer.
His incredible 1979 performance on the Cubs earned him an even rarer feat, a Cy Young Award from a relief pitcher. In that season, Sutter appeared in 62 games, earning 37 saves and posting a 2.22 ERA in 101 innings along the way. He allowed just three home runs all season in ’79 and had a sparkling FIP of just 1.89.
While his Atlanta Braves career (1985-1986, 1988) may not have been quite as dominant as the previous nine years split between the Cubs and Cardinals, he still finished his career with one of the most impressive stat-lines of any closer in history; earning exactly 300 saves and posting a career 2.83 ERA and 2.94 FIP in 661 appearances.
Six All-Star Game appearances, a World Series championship and four Reliever of the Year Awards later, you have one of the best to ever do it.